Water heater pressure rising

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    • #274153
      MasterPlumbers
      Keymaster

      OK you guys, I have apparently not given anyone enough info on my problem, so here goes.
      I live in Mexico, there is no city water pressure, we have what is called an aljiber, a large area for water storage.The water is then pumped to a pressure tank to supply pressure to the home(two story).The normal pressure at the tank we try to maintain is 30 to 40 psi.and the tank stays at around a 1/4 full. Occasionally the psi goes to 60 to 70 and the pressure relief valve on top of the water heater releases water.
      Now the water heater is 5 yrs old, the home is 30yrs old and the problem is a new one. The water heater is on the top floor and the pressure tank is on the bottom floor.Is it possible I have an air lock? If so, what’s the remedy? Hope this helps

    • #289260

      I can worry less now. This is neither a comfort heating system or an ordinary US domestic water heating system. It is a well-pump with a domestic water heater that has an unknown pressure-setting on the relief valve (but is probably at 70 psig, an unusual pressure setting.) So probably the well-pumpset tank is coated on the inside against corrosion.

      If the relief valve is also temperature-activated, the release can be from temperature. If the water in the tank stays at approximately 1/4 full and the pressure changes, then the gas pressure increase is due to heating the water and the air in the tank. The water is not forced back into the aquafer because of a check valve in the pumpset, so the heated water and gases expand to raise the pressure.

      If there is a check valve between the tank and water heater, the release of water is understandable. If the water in the heater expands or is overheated, the relief valve releases water. At times it is possible for all the air in the upstairs heater to be purged by extended use, so without trapped air, the expanding water could lift the relief. The aljiber in Mexico is exposed to high ground and outdoor temperatures, so excess air normally found in ground water is bubbled out. Well pumpsets in Mexico are not necessarily inside or sheltered in low-rain areas, so entrained-air content can be lowered in a warm pressure tank. Night-cooled water in the tank would be heated by the sun in the day. All of this is conjecture until confirmed by observation.

      So a temporary answer is yes, a tank can become water-logged. Expanding water or air can lift a relief valve. Further answers come from definite additional details.

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